Can you be too careful? When you’re a female business traveler or digital nomad, not really.
When you’re a stranger in a strange land, you may be carrying your most valued possessions on you at all times. Losing your money, cards, or phone may not simply be expensive, it can be downright dangerous. Being a woman that situation can multiply that danger by about a thousand.
However, preparation is always the key to safety. So follow these tips and make them a way of life.
Get a VPN
First and foremost, protect your digital assets. Get a VPN program to protect your laptop and keep your online activity secure and anonymous.
This will help keep hackers out of your digital properties wherever you go as you hop from Wi-Fi network to Wi-Fi network.
Check in Online
If something happens to you, you want someone to know exactly when things go wrong.
Yes, yes it can feel a bit like telling your mother everywhere you go, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Check in with your close friends and let them know where you’re going with rough timeframes of when you will be there. This way red flags will go up accordingly if you’re not heard from for a while.
You’ve spent most of your life not wanting people to worry about you, but this is one case where you definitely do.
Spread Your Money Around
As we alluded to earlier, what happens if you lose your debit or credit card? You don’t want that to be your only means of paying for things.
Bring multiple debit and credit cards with you, and keep them in different secure places, i.e. don’t put them all in your laptop bag or wallet. If Card A gets lost or stolen you need to be able to use Card B right away.
It can also help to leave some money with a family member or friend, who can Western Union or e-transfer you the money if something happens. Choose the person who you know can’t put their phone down for more than a few minutes, and is not opposed to answering late-night messages.
You don’t have to agree with the country’s traditional dress for women to adhere to it. Dressing a little bit too North American in many countries of the world can get you into a lot of trouble, as well as make you a target for anger and aggressive behavior.
Do your research ahead of time to make sure you know exactly how to dress to blend in throughout your next destination.
Also, keep in mind that you should always try to dress down as much as possible when traveling alone, as not to make yourself look too much like a wealthy North American tourist.
Go With Your Gut
If being somewhere feels “wrong,” that is reason enough to move to someplace you feel safer. Whether or not you believe there is any science in woman’s intuition, there is research to support that humans can sense when they’re being watched or followed.
It’s a simple matter of risk versus reward. Trust your feelings and heir on the side of caution.
These are just a few basic things you can do to protect yourself. The woman you meet in your travels will also be an invaluable source of helpful tips for that region, and general travel tips and hacks.